Optical fibre cross-section

Optical fibre cross-section

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Optical fibre cross-section. Optical fibres are made from flexible glass that has a high refractive index. Each fibre consists of a glass core (red) with an outer protective glass layer (cladding, green) that has a lower refractive index than the core. The outer layers (blue and thin green layer) are protective resin and plastic jackets to protect the glass fibre within. The core is about 8 micrometres across. Light travelling through the fibre is contained within the core because of total internal reflection at the core/cladding boundary. This allows data to be transmitted over long distances with little information loss.

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